Surrey League – Spencer 3 vs Reigate 4 – Match Report
Last night saw the fledgling Spencer 3 team take on very strong opposition in the form of Reigate 4. With Reigate making an early bid for the top of division 7R, a tough test was on the cards for the much-lauded Spencer junior team. However, Spencer were in a position to play a field a strong line-up so once again confidence was high.
First up on court 2 for the second week in a row was in-form Danny – he’s so hot right now – at third string looking to take his unbeaten run to 10 matches! Simon was his opponent, and early rallies pointed towards a standard attritional running match for Danny. The first set was very tight, with Simon looking at an upset by taking it 16-14 ensuring Danny had a face like a chewed toffee during the break. This early stumble kick-started Danny’s game and he powered through the next 3 sets in good time 15-11, 15-7, 15-12 while rarely looking troubled. With a win for the first team also under his belt last week, Danny’s stock has risen sharply over the last few weeks.
Court 1 played host to Spencer 3 top nominee Mike Pan, taking on Balham-based Simon at first string. The match had a contrast in styles, with the fleet-footed Mike running down everything the “big unit” had to throw at him as the game swung both ways at break-neck speed. Simon was also kind enough to provide running commentary on the whole match whilst playing! If Spencer fines applied to opposing players then Spencer would likely be able to build a third court after this match such was the colour of Simon’s language. Mike contrived to lose the first set in a nail biting 21-19 epic, but stalwart Spencer Coach Dan Wells (wearing his full kit in true non-playing John Terry style) was on hand to give him a pep talk. This worked, as in the second set as Mike came back from 6 points down at one point to edge it 15-13. The third set followed a similar pattern, but Simon kept his cool to take it 15-13 making it 2-1 overall. Once again Mike counter-punched taking the 4th 15-9 and was looking the more likely candidate to take the decider. However, Simon had other ideas and summoned one last bit of energy to take the decider 15-7.
With the tie currently level at 1 apiece, disgruntled demotee Charlie stepped onto court 2 with a point to prove after last week’s loss in his first outing for the junior team. Charlie started the match gloriously, with the self-styled squash hero driving effortlessly down the backhand side, putting all sorts of pressure onto his opponent Guy. Marker Danny – who’s so hot right now – relayed the message to continue in the same vein, so Charlie promptly decided to do the exact opposite losing the second set 15-11. The bewildered home crowd got behind their man for the third set, with a visibly fired-up Charlie taking the 3rd 15-10 for a 2-1 lead. Once again though Charlie’s level dipped in the fourth allowing Guy to level and take the match into a decider. The crowd were expecting Charlie’s well-known southern grit to see him through, alas it was not to be as Guy powered through to take the fifth 12-15 leaving the whole tie in the balance for Spencer. Rumours are unconfirmed that the Spencer Squash committee will be making Charlie’s on court attire (a fetching washed-out blue rugby short and poo-brown t-shirt ensemble) the number 1 agenda item at the next AGM.
There was still an air of expectation amongst the home crowd as recent Spencer addition Anthony strode onto court 1 at fourth string looking very confident and in fine physical condition with his opponent, Roger, less so. Anthony’s class showed early doors taking the first 2 sets 15-6, 15-12 with little worry for the home crowd. A little wobble in the 3rd saw Roger sneak a game 15-13, before Anthony powered back with a ruthless 15-10 victory to seal the match and the tie for Spencer. The home crowd were jubilant and very eager to sample the delights on offer at the Spencer Club bar.
So another tight tie shaded by Spencer on countback, with the final score coming in at 11-8 taking Spencer back to the top of the table. There is a month break before a visit to local rivals Wimbledon Racquets and rest assured Spencer 3 will be in peak condition to extend their winning run to three matches.